Round-up: Holloway backs Blackpool in the play-offs despite 'limp' finish
Monday 03 May 2010
Blackpool completed one of the Championship's more unlikely success stories yesterday when they clinched the final play-off place with a 1-1 home draw with Bristol City after Swansea, in seventh, failed to beat Doncaster.
"We've limped over the line in the end but you could see what it meant to everybody," said manager Ian Holloway after Brett Ormerod had cancelled out Nicky Maynard's stunning strike for City. "I'm just relieved that we've matched what Swansea did and I'm very, very proud. It looked like we were washed up but we've got a chance now."
Swansea could only draw 0-0 at the Liberty Stadium and failed to take advantage of Blackpool's slip, Lee Trundle having a goal disallowed for handball in second-half injury-time. Manager Paulo Sousa said: "Everyone is unhappy in the dressing room as we have not done what we wanted to do. I do not want to talk about the handball decision but we had no luck at all today."
In the play-offs Blackpool now face Nottingham Forest, who drew 2-2 at Scunthorpe yesterday, while Leicester, 2-0 winners over Middlesbrough, take on Cardiff, who lost 2-0 at Derby. Holloway is backing his side as dark horses to reach the Premier League. "We've scored more goals than any other team in the play-off positions and what we've got to do is stop conceding some," he said. "Will that be enough? Who knows? But we know we can score so we're a threat."
In League One, the race for the second automatic promotion place will go to the final day after both Leeds and Millwall lost on Saturday. The south London club's 2-0 defeat at Tranmere meant a victory for Simon Grayson's side at Charlton would have taken them up, but captain Richard Naylor's late own goal gave the Addicks a 1-0 win and means Leeds must beat Bristol Rovers at Elland Road on Saturday to clinch a return to the Championship. At the bottom, Wycombe were relegated when they lost 2-0 at fellow strugglers Leyton Orient.
Grimsby kept alive their hopes of remaining in the Football League by beating third-bottom Barnet 2-0 at Blundell Park. Goals from Robert Atkinson and Mark Hudson saved Neil Woods' side from League Two relegation and they go to Burton on Saturday one point behind the Bees, who are at home to promoted Rochdale.
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